The report by the DGCCRF, which is in charge of clamping down on fraud in consumer products, has revealed that false labelling is rife among France's olive oil sellers.
According to the study, in 2016 almost half of all olive oils sold in France were not as described on their labels, with many containing added vegetable oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil or falsely claiming to be “extra virgin” or “organic”.
And the biggest perpetrators turned out to be foreign olive oils claiming to be higher quality than they actually were.
“In the majority, [we are talking about] foreign olive oils with quality defects that have caused us to reclassify them into a lower quality level of product,” said the DGCCRF.
Out of the 139 samples of olive oil tested, “one in four were declared as ‘to watch out for’, and 48 percent were found not to be conforming to regulations.
Out of the oil producers tested as part of the study, 17 were given legal warnings for “labelling errors”, 39 were handed injunctions for “not conforming to labeling laws”.
On top of that, 71 were formally warned for “non-compliant labelling”.